Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gentle Peaceful Days.....

Summer needed some low key days to rest and recover from her Adventures with Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Those two partied way too hard for her and she is still suffering from some PTSD.....

She and I dropped Louis Dean off at the dentist this morning for Visit #5 in the 8 scheduled visits to get his dental work done. He did the fist 3 in one sitting on Tuesday and he did all FIVE of the rest TODAY! He was in the chair from 10:00 this morning to 5:00 this afternoon!!! He wanted to get it over with and Dr. Joe agreed to it! He had one cavity and then several crowns. Like ALL of his teeth crowned. He was missing several and Dr. Joe made the crowns bigger to fill up some of the extra space. He just has to go back in a couple of weeks for the final visit.

Our first stop as at Starbucks. Just walking in the door and taking that first deep breath immediately puts you in a relaxed attitude! I ordered my first pumpkin spice latte of the season!
Summer is talking to her Aunt Luann on the phone. She had called and wanted to see Summer before she left Irving. We made plans to meet for lunch.

Next stop was Big Lots where I found all things pumpkin and lots and lots of goodies while Summer shopped for Rayne's school supplies. She starts on Monday back in her old school.
We shopped at Office Depot next for the supplies not found at Big Lots.
Then we headed to the Corner Bakery to meet Luann for lunch!

Summer sure enjoyed getting to visit and she says that her Aunt Luann gives the BEST hugs! 
And believe me - Summer NEEDS some hugs after all she's been through!

We had fun!
Thank you, Luann, for treating us this afternoon!
We still have your leftovers to snack on tonight.....

From there we browsed through a few stores where Summer found more supplies and even a new wardrobe! WE were headed back home when the dentist office called to say Louis Dean was just about ready. We stopped at Sonic and picked him up a BIG chocolate milk shake since he had not eaten anything all day.

He was so cold he was practically shivering and, once we were home, I gave him a big fuzzy warm blanket. He watched a little TV and then asked me to fix him a Frito Pie.

That may have been a mistake.
He ate about half of it and decided to go to bed.
He has been feeling pretty miserable for about an hour but I think he's asleep now.
Hopefully he can sleep all night and wake up feeling better in the morning.

I stayed in the kitchen all evening.

I made a big chicken salad chopping up onions, hard boiled eggs, celery, and apples.

Then I went out to what's left of our garden and picked every last pepper I could find.

Three different kind!

I had enough for one big bottle of pepper sauce.

I think it looks so pretty and in about three weeks I will open the bottle and see how it tastes!
If it's really good - it will be a Christmas gift for someone special.

On to the Spiced Pumpkin Muffins!

I made a double batch!
Some for the family reunion on Saturday.
Some for Rayne Roo who loves them so much.
Some for the quads who love them also!
A few for us.....
and a few more to share with Kimmy and June soon.

That brings me to the end of this day.
Louis Dean is asleep and my work is done.
I think Summer and I are going out to the den and light some candles since we can't have a fire in the fireplace and watch some TV. TV has really helped Summer zone out and keep her mind off things.
We get one last night together.
However - she and Sabrina and Rayne will all three be going to the Family Reunion on Saturday so I will get to see them all again!!!!!

Oops! Louis Dean just came out of the bedroom and is fumbling around in the kitchen!
I gotta go check on what he's getting into!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tuesday Treasures and Summer is HOME!!!!

Summer is HOME!!! I will start tonight's journal entry with that wonderful news!
She woke up in a hotel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday morning grateful to be there!

She is ADORABLE!!! Don't you agree???
What was she so happy about???

"It's the little things in life like; brushing your teeth, flushing the toilet and having clean hair. Rayne was thrilled to take a sit down bath and not a 6 cup shower."

She and Sabrina, along with Rayne and Sunshine, drove from Louisiana on to Dallas Tuesday.

While we waited for them to arrive, Ruth Ann and I did a Spa Day!

Hair Cuts at K Hair on Beltline in Irving with Miss Yulisa and Ms K!
They work miracles there!!!

Next - a little Goodwill Hunting!

I didn't make a HUGE haul but I DID find some treasures!
A Christmas pitcher and a Christmas wine glass......a soft storage 'thingy' to hang in the camper bathroom. a pair of bling bling sandels, an awesome feathered mask for me to wear on Halloween when we hand out Trick or Treat candies.....and a big red and white bowl from Crate and Barrel .....

and this great fall wreath! I do so love all things 'sunflower!'

Summer called and said they would be in Rowlett about 6:00.
Ruth and I decided we did NOT want to be late so we drove over at 3:00 - just to be sure we missed the traffic and all. We hung out at a great strip shopping center and browsed through Dollar Tree, Ross for Less and Target before driving a few blocks up Highway 66 to Chili's.

We drove up and parked right smack dab in front of the restaurant and were just getting out of the car when Summer and Sabrina wheeled in driving their rental car and parked right beside us!!
It was just like in a movie!
We all hugged each other long and hard!!!

This has GOT to be one of the best dogs ever!!!
I do love all my grand dogs!!!

We had a great photo op and they were so gracious in letting me take picture after picture!

I now have plenty to keep for my desk top covers, Facebook covers and profile pics and Blog Fodder!!!

I wanted to freeze these precious moments in time for I will always remember how I felt just being able to see them!
Rayne is such an awesome and brave little girl!
Summer and Sabrina were so courageous and strong and a blessing in the tight little community there in Palmas/Humacao.

Sabrina was anxious to get to HER mom just as Summer was wanting to get to me.
We hugged and said our goodbyes to Sabrina, Rayne and Sunshine and then we went in to Chili's where we sat and listened to Summer tell about her experiences with both Hurricane Irma and Maria!! We hung on her every word. She has an amazing story and I hope she documents it because I would love to share it with you.

We lingered long there and at last we felt like we were ready to go home.

I am so proud of Summer!

Ruth Ann is as much a part of our family as if she were blood and Summer gained a lot of comfort from her being with us last night.

We came home and watched a little TV before going to bed.
TV seems to help Summer zone out as she decompresses from her traumatic hurricane experiences.
I asked her if she wanted to shower and she said she had showered that morning. She is still in 'conserving the resources' mode.

 Summer grew up in this house and found comfort in going to bed in her old room.
I tucked her in and had prayer over her as I stroked her hair and she cried.
She has been through so much and is still so concerned for those still on the island.

I fixed a good breakfast for us this morning before we did our Bible reading and prayer time.

Prayers are being answered!
Summer told me the names of all of these people who flew out from Puerto Rico yesterday.
There are others she and Sabrina are praying for......
Hopefully the ones who need to get out - will! And hopefully soon.
Right now Puerto Rico needs those who can help in rebuilding the infrastructure and make the island habitable again. There is and will be a limited amount of resources for some time to come and these need to go to the people working there and taking care of the native Puerto Ricans who will not leave the place they have lived all their lives.

We have had a good day. We have rested, napped, visited and relaxed.
I have unpacked from our time in the country and watered all day long.
Everything was parched and dry and it gave me something to focus on.

Yesterday Louis Dean went to the dentist. When I made the appointment, she said it would involve scheduling the cleaning and I said, "You don't understand. Once you get him IN the chair - do NOT let him up or he will NOT come back!" She said, "I understand."
He was there 3 hours!

He goes back tomorrow for the first of 5 more sessions.
I'll tell you more about that later but tonight you can see him sporting a smile!

We were in the gazebo earlier having a glass of wine before dinner.
This photo reminds me of the times we would attend Fellowship Church and we would walk up and Louis Dean would nudge me and say, "Just watch! Look at all the TEETH!"
He meant all the smiles from the greeters.

Louis Dean's favorite preacher is Ed Young, Sr who just lost his wife last week.
We attended Second Baptist Church in Katy, Texas back when we were living in the camper when the quads were babies.
LD has a desire to go to Fellowship Church this weekend and so we will.
We haven't been there in years now so perhaps it's time to visit again - if nothing more than to pay our respects. Ed Young, Jr is the pastor there.
Two great preachers!

In the time I've been writing, both Louis Dean and Summer have both gone to bed and I am right behind them.

I am so grateful that it is this time THIS week rather than this time LAST week when Hurricane Maria was raging over them!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Safe and on Their Way HOME!!!

My heart is much lighter tonight as I write! Summer, Sabrina, Rayne and family are safely back in the continental USA! It's been a very long day of anxious waiting as we continued to pray for them to leave Puerto Rico.

In the end they were able to fly out and arrived in Florida safe and sound.

In crisis mode, plans remain fluid and change moment by moment.
I'm so thankful for all the prayers that winged them back to safety.
While they are not in Texas YET - they ARE on their way!

Summer called this afternoon as we were closing up the camper and getting ready to head home.

The text messages were flying back and forth as we drove away from the country.

They are safe!
Praise God!!!

We are home now and I have showered and am about to put up the food stuff we brought back.
Then I am going to bed!
I am tired to the bone.

But I wanted to share my good news before I was completely worn out!!
Thank you for praying with me and now we can rejoice together!!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Celebrating 69 Years! No News From Summer Yet....

I t has been a good birthday! Any birthday is a GOOD birthday!

I enjoyed every single one of the birthday wishes I received on Facebook!
Throughout the day, I would come back in and scroll through them and smile.
It really made this birthday easier.
I say easier because the last time I talked to Summer on Saturday afternoon, she said she would call me once they were ON a plane coming home.
I haven't heard from her since.
I KNOW there's no cell phone reception in nearly all of Puerto Rico outside of San Juan.
I KNOW they are doing everything they can to get off the island.
Still, my heart is aching and my stomach has a knot in it.
My mind is cloudy and I can't concentrate.

Louis Dean has spent this last day here at the ranch working on the bathroom.
He got two walls up and will be ready to finish up the plumbing on our return next month.

He is a steady worker and loves projects.
It bothers him that he is slower than he used to be but I tell him he is STEADY!
By this time next year, he will be working on a green house and other projects.

I made a big dinner of chicken, cheese potatoes and green beans with bread sticks from Pizza Pro here in Mart. We tend to eat one big meal a day and a couple of snacks.

Our movie of the day was.....

I LOVED the music!
While I have seen this film many times, I always enjoy it!

I have tried to stay busy to keep my mind from worrying.
At times I felt a bit like this t-shirt saying!

I spent this day last year with Summer.
Bless her heart!
And she does have one of the biggest, most generous hearts of anyone I know!

Louis Dean and I just came in so I could 'write my words' as we call it.


I saw a shooting star!!! 
It was like God's birthday gift to me!
I told my sisters about it and Nita said, "God is especially fond of you!"

And he is especially fond of Summer!!
Hoping and praying I hear from her tomorrow that she is on her way home.....

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I Heard My Daughter's Voice!!

Summer called this morning!
There is no cell phone connections anywhere on the island other than in San Juan.
Sabrina and family had taken Summer to the airport there in San Juan hoping her scheduled flight for this morning would still fly out.
That was not to happen but they had no communication as to what was going on until they got to San Juan.

From my Facebook posting today:

I have spent some time on the phone this morning with Summer!!! They are all okay but it has been a traumatic time for them. Their bigger better safer house is pretty much totalled and she said it felt like a scene from the Titanic! They ended up in the basement with water coming in. They were rescued by a friend - a day or two after Maria hit the island - and taken to their home which fared much better.
Today they took Summer to San Juan hoping the flights were going out as she had a reservation departing today. The airport has been closed by the military until Tuesday due to conditions regarding the dam that is breaking.
They will get out tomorrow on a plane that is delivering water and building supplies and will take them out since it would otherwise be leaving empty. President Trump is sending planes in including his own personal jet to transport people out.
Summer and Sabrina Parks are resourceful and creative and have done the very best they can under extreme conditions. The family there remain a strong bonded team from all that she told me. They have suffered a lot of trauma but are safe. I am so proud of them!
There is no cell phone connections once they leave San Juan and they must arrive back at Palmas before the 6:00 curfew. Please continue to pray for them as they deal with so many situations.
It is dangerous in Puerto Rico.....

From Summer's Facebook post:

We have hung out in the bar trying to coordinate departure flights for everyone to leave PR. My flight with Spirit Airlines canceled and they didn't bother to reschedule on next available flight.
Plus, when I arrived at airport there was no one at the Spirit Airlines desk to provide updates. Then my Mom, Linda was on line trying to book flights but they kept selling out before we could complete the booking process. We are about to finish up the planning process and have to head back soon to our home in Humacao due to the 6pm to 6am curfew.

Today has been hard for me - emotionally, mentally and drained me physically.
But I can not complain as I know for Summer, Sabrina and the rest of the family there are suffering through so much more..

Confirmed Report - Homeland Security agents in PR are providing heavily-armed security in a few gas stations that have reported hostile environments between customers in line to get gas.

There is the threat of violence as people are so desperate.

I admit it - today I have been a basket case.
After finishing my last conversation with Summer before they left San Juan - I went to bed and stayed there until nearly 6:00 this evening.
Reality was so much worse than my imagination regarding what my daughter was going through.

Louis Dean worked in the bathroom by putting up walls.
Tomorrow he will finish out that corner and put the shower in place.
We have one more work day before we pack up and go home for a couple of weeks.
Then we will be back to actually hook up the toilet, sink and shower and hopefully the water heater for HOT water! We plan on spending half of every month down here getting this room completed.
We do so love it here!

This day one year ago!

My daughters celebrating my birthday with me on this day in 2016.
Daughters are special gifts to mothers....I am so grateful God gave me TWO!!!

I wish I could reach out and give every one of you a hug for the prayers you have all prayed for my daughter. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Critter Chores!

Dean and Sherry were away so Louis Dean and I took care of the Critter Chores this morning.

BBQ was looking mighty fine!
Notice the little tank is bone dry!
Back in the spring and early summer this was full to over flowing.

Louis Dean staked Thumper further up.
He took care of the goats while I fed and watered the chickens and let the ducks out.....
and gathered eggs!

One of the chores we do every day is to fill the camper reservoir with water,
He came in from turning on the water faucet telling me about these pretty yellow flowers that bloom all the way down the main stem of the plant. He thought I might want to cut a bouquet.

  Good thing I know what ragweed looks like!!
No bouquet of that for me!

It's been another hot day in Texas and certainly does NOT feel like the first day of fall.
The hummingbirds are still coming to the feeder and even the praying mantis visited it.
One of the wasps flying around kept buzzing at him trying to get him to move.

This is the way Louis Dean hangs his laundry to dry.
I was glad to get all the wash finished today.

I haven't felt well today. Not really sick but I got too tired this morning and then developed a headache. It could have been the ragweed. My shoulders and neck ached and all the bones in my feet hurt. I went back to bed this morning after chores and again this afternoon.

I thought a lighter movie would make us smile and this one did!
I'd seen it belong long years ago but it was just as clever today as it was then.
Surprisingly, Louis Dean said he really REALLY enjoyed it!

He brought the last bit of laundry up from the line carrying it on his bike.
He's been working hard today but had to take several long breaks.
The bathroom will not be a done deal when we leave on Monday but it will be a lot closer than we arrived. Everything takes time and Louis Dean can't work morning until night as he used to do.
We have to pace ourselves and enjoy the process.

I still haven't heard from Summer but I am not complaining. I know the conditions in Puerto Rico are awful and it takes time for help and aid to arrive.
My birthday is Sunday and I am hoping and praying to hear her voice by or ON that day.
It will be the best birthday gift I could get!
Last year for my birthday, she had something delivered to me every single day of the entire month of September. She sent everything from socks to flannel nightgown to Vick's Vapor Rub to super soft tissues to candy  and on and on. Every day I got a package!
That was so special and thoughtful of her.
This year I just want to hear her voice.